• The incident happened in Canandaigua, New York
  • Deputies airlifted the child to a hospital
  • An estimated 20,000 families in the U.S. face lawn-mower related injuries every year

A 6-year-old boy was hospitalized with serious injuries Wednesday after he was accidentally run over by a lawnmower.

The incident took place in Canandaigua around noon. Deputies with the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office were called to Mobile Road about an accident involving a riding lawnmower, ABC 13 reported.

Steven Morlang, 69, was operating a riding lawnmower when the child, who is related to Morlang, ran up behind him to catch his attention. Morlang, who failed to see or hear the child, attempted to back up the machine and ended up running over the minor’s right leg with the mower deck, causing severe injuries, the outlet reported.

Deputies applied a tourniquet at the site of the injury before airlifting the child to a hospital. The boy underwent surgery and has since been declared in stable condition, Rochester First reported.

Lawnmowers, the machines used in households to cut the backyard grass surface, are equipped with two or more strong revolving blades. Young children are at the risk of suffering serious injuries if some basic safety rules aren’t maintained.

An estimated 20,000 families in the U.S. face lawnmower-related injuries every year. According to Megan Johnson, MD Orthopaedic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Tennessee, the wounding capacity of a single lawnmower blade is three times the power of a .357 magnum gun, with the chances of flying debris or projectiles causing more harm.

"Of all the things we see, lawnmower accidents are one of the most heartbreaking injuries we treat," Johnson told VUMC Voice. "We easily see half a dozen significant injuries a year. The worst part is, these injuries are 100% preventable."

To avoid injuries or, in the worst case, mortality, Johnson urged parents and caregivers to keep young children at a safe distance when operating a mower and to not mow in reverse or pull the mower backward. She also urged parents to not let children below the age of 16 operate a mower.

A 3-year-old struck by a lawnmower died in Washington. In this photo, four-year-old Hayden Giles (L) sits on a riding mower with his father Charlie Giles in Kellerton, Iowa, April 13, 2015. Getty Images / Justin Sullivan